Heads up for football players: Orthopedic surgeon shares concussion advice - San Francisco Serra High School, San Mateo

Serra High School football players listened to important information about concussions a few weeks ago. Orthopedic surgeon Dirk Diefendorf, MD, visited campus to share the warning signs of head injuries and how to treat them.

Dr. Diefendorf has been a tremendous asset to the football program for more than 20 years, said Serra Athletic Director Dean Ayoob. His presence at games ensures that our athletes are safe and in good hands.

Diefendorf is an orthopedic surgeon in San Mateo. An avid sports fan, he has graciously volunteered to monitor Padre home football games for two decades.

Its my way of giving back, he noted. I enjoy being at the games so much and enjoy being a part of the Serra community.

Concussion signs and symptoms include confusion, amnesia, headache, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, slurred speech and fatigue. The signs and symptoms of a concussion are not always immediately apparent. Symptoms can last for days or even weeks. Delayed symptoms include memory and concentration problems, sensitivity to light and noise, sleep disturbances, irritability and depression. Multiple concussions can present problems later in life if left untreated.

At Serra, we have invested in the best helmets available and we teach our players proper tackling techniques, said Head Football Coach Patrick Walsh. We tell our kids to keep their eyes up and strike with their shoulder pads, not their heads.

The two most common concussion symptoms are confusion and amnesia. Amnesia, which may or may not be preceded by a loss of consciousness, usually involves the loss of memory of the impact that caused the concussion.

We are so fortunate that Dr. Diefendorf is a member of our community, Walsh added. For years, he has volunteered his time and services here at Serra. His speech helped all of us to be on the lookout for head injuries this season, because concussions can be insidious. Educating our coaches and football players is crucial.


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